Mylène Farmer

Mylene Farmer

Born: 1961, Pierrefonds, QC
Debut: 1984
Genres: New Wave, Pop

Achievements

• 6 Diamond albums (France)
• 15 Number One Hits (France)
• 45+ Top Ten Hits (France)
• Album Point de suture spawned 5 number one hits
• Number one hits in 4 consecutive decades
• Appearance in Guinness Book of World Records for best-selling French single of all-time, “Désenchantée”

Studio Albums and Hit Singles

1986: Cendres de lune

mylene-farmer_cendres-de-lune_33-tours-france-premier-pressage_001

• Hit Singles: “Libertine” (#10), “Tristana” (#7)

1988: Ainsi soit je…

ainsi-soit-je

• Diamond
• Hit Singles: “Pourvu qu’elles soient douces” (#1), “Sans contrefaçon” (#2), “Sans logique” (#10), “Ainsi soit je…” (#12)

1991: L’Autre…

lautre

• Diamond
• Hit Singles: “Désenchantée” (#1), “Regrets” (#3), “Je t’aime mélancolie” (#3), “Beyond My Control” (#8)

1995: Anamorphosée

mylene_farmer_-_anamorphosee

• Diamond
• Hit Singles: “XXL” (#1), “L’instant X” (#6), “California” (#7), “Rêver” (#7), “Comme j’ai mal” (#11)

1999: Innamoramento

innamoramento

• Diamond
• Hit Singles: “L’âme-stram-gram” (#2), “Innamoramento” (#3), “Souviens-toi du jour…” (#4), “Optimistique-moi” (#7), “Je te rends ton amour” (#10)

2005: Avant que l’ombre…

avant-que-lombre

• 2x Platinum
• Hit Singles: “F*** Them All” (#2), “Peut-être toi” (#3), “Q.I” (#7), “Redonne-moi” (#7), “L’amour n’est rien…” (#7)

2008: Point de suture

point-de-suture

• 3x Platinum
• Hit Singles: “Dégénération” (#1), “Appelle mon numéro” (#1), “Si j’avais au moins…” (#1), “C’est dans l’air” (#1), “Sextonik” (#1)

2010: Bleu noir

bleu-noir

• Diamond
• Hit Singles: “Oui mais… non” (#1), “Bleu noir” (#1), “Lonely Lisa” (#1)

2012: Monkey Me

nonkey-me

• 3x Platinum
• Hit Singles: “À l’ombre” (#1), “Monkey Me” (#3), “Je te dis tout” (#3)

2015: Interstellaires

mylene farmer - interstellaires

• 3x Platinum
• Hit Singles: “Stolen Car” (#1), “City Of Love” (#1), “Insondables” (#23)

Other Hit Singles

“Que mon cœur lâche” (1992, from Dance Remixes, #9), “La poupée qui fait non” (1997, from Live à Bercy, #6), “Dessine-moi un mouton” (2000, from Mylenium Tour, #6), “L’histoire d’une fée, c’est…” (2001, from Rugrats in Paris, #9), “Les mots” (2001, from Les Mots, #2), “C’est une belle journée” (2002, from Les Mots, #5), “Pardonne-moi” (2002, from Les Mots, #6), “Slipping Away (Crier la vie)” (2006, from Go – The Very Best of Moby, #1), “Avant que l’ombre… (Live)” (2006, from Avant que l’ombre… à Bercy, #10), “Déshabillez-moi (Live)” (2007, from Avant que l’ombre… à Bercy, #10), “Du temps” (2011, from 2001.2011, #4)

Note: All certifications and hit single peak chart positions above are for France.

Biography

Mylène Farmer (born Mylène Jeanne Gautier) is a progressive French-Canadian recording artist and one of the most successful Francophone singer songwriters of all time. She has scored six diamond albums in France, 15 chart-topping singles, and 47 top ten hits. Her album Point de suture accomplished the same feat in France that Michael Jackson’s Bad did in the United States spawning five number one singles. Farmer has collaborated with a number of global A-listers including the United States’ Moby and United Kingdom’s Sting and Seal. She has worked with French director Luc Besson (Nikita, Leon the Professional, The Fifth Element) on music videos. She is also responsible for launching the career of French dance-pop sensation Alizée.

Mylène was born in the greater Montreal area to French parents and grew up in the Paris suburbs from the age of eight. Because of jus soli birthright citizenship recognized in Canadian law, as in most American countries, Mylène Farmer was awarded Canadian citizenship at birth.

Farmer was fascinated by horse racing in her teens and became a qualified equestrian instructor. She ended up leaving the stables to pursue an acting career by enrolling at a drama school. She changed her surname from Gautier to Farmer in tribute to her idol, Hollywood actress Frances Farmer and was able to earn a living as a model acting in television commercials. In 1984, Mylène answered a newspaper ad seeking actors from film student Laurent Boutonnat. The two became friends and forged a creative partnership which included writing and producing music for film progressing to the making of music videos. Farmer managed to attract attention with a series of risqué MVs.

Farmer’s first two singles released gained minor success, but she was determined to release an album. Her first studio LP, Cendres de lune, came out in 1986. Boutonnat wrote the music and directed the cinematic-style videos while Farmer penned the lyrics and sang. Singles “Libertine” and “Tristana” cracked the Top 10 in France. Album Ainsi soit je… followed in 1988 and catapulted Mylène Farmer to superstardom. The album went diamond, was the best-selling LP from a female artist in France through the 1980s, and spawned her first number one hit, “Pourvu qu’elles soient douces”.

Facing the pressure of a followup blockbuster in the early 90s, Farmer succeeded, rising beyond superstardom to become iconic. This was achieved with album L’Autre and the phenomenon that was single “Désenchantée” which topped the charts for 9 weeks entering the Guinness Book of World Records as the best-selling French single of all-time worldwide.

Around this time, a deranged fan entered the Polydor Records headquarters in Paris, shot the receptionist, and held employees at gunpoint demanding to talk to Farmer. Following this, Mylène left the country to live in Los Angeles for a few weeks. She released a remix album with new song “Que mon cœur lâche”, the MV of which was directed by Luc Besson. She returned to the U.S. for a break again after the debut feature film from Boutonnat, Giorgino, in which she starred, was a commercial disappointment. It was in California where Farmer began work on 1995 album Anamorphosée. This was the first album for which Farmer wrote music. Pumped up by electric rock guitars, single “XXL” was her first song to debut on the French charts at #1.

From then on, Mylène Farmer began to tour extensively and released live albums which sold exceptionally well. She closed out the 90s with her fourth consecutive diamond studio album Innamoramento and in 2001 contributed the song “L’histoire d’une fée, c’est…” to the film Rugrats in Paris.

In the new millennum, Farmer and Boutonnat put together music which they felt more appropriate for a younger star and found Alizée of Corsica. They wrote and produced Alizée’s albums Gourmandises and Mes courants électriques. Alizée’s hit song “Moi… Lolita” topped the charts, and she became the most successful French singer of 2001. For her own hits, Farmer released a compilation double disc album Les Mots that year, another diamond seller for her.

Mylène Farmer released Avant que l’ombre… in 2005. The following year, she collaborated for the first time with electronic musician Moby who invited her to record a duet with him in song “Slipping Away”. She also worked on Luc Besson’s animated feature film Arthur and the Minimoys, lending her voice to Selenia, the character voiced by Madonna in the international version.

Album Point de suture was released in 2008 and spawned five #1 singles. Bleu Noir, co-produced by Moby, followed in 2010. With the continued success of albums and singles, Mylène Farmer at this point now had number one singles in four consecutive decades. Her ninth and tenth studio albums are Monkey Me in 2012 and Interstellaires in 2015. The latter features a collaboration with Sting (The Police).

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Charlene Choi

Charlene Choi1

Born: 1982, Vancouver
Debut: 2001
Genre: Pop

Carlene Choi is a Canadian pop superstar and actress currently based in Hong Kong. Affectionately known by nickname A-Sa, she was born in Vancouver in 1982. She performs music mostly in Cantonese but has also recorded songs in English and Mandarin. Charlene began her career as a model and was later offered a recording contract by Emperor Entertainment Group to form the pop duo Twins with Hong Kong’s Gillian Chung. The warm, magical sound of the group enjoyed a sudden breakout success with debut 2001 EP reaching platinum sales within the first week of release. Popularity spread internationally, most notably throughout greater China, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, The Philippines, Australia, Canada, and the United States. Within its first two years, the duo received 72 awards. In 2007, after several albums, Twins embarked on its first North American tour. Though she had released solo material previously, Charlene began a more formal career as a soloist releasing full-length albums starting in 2009.

Choi’s first solo single “Make a Wish” in 2008 had proceeds directed to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Both it and “Little Sister” hit #1 on the HK charts. She collaborated with Singapore’s JJ Lin on “Little Dimples”. Her debut solo album (platinum, HK) came out in 2009, Lonely Me. Platinum EP Another Me followed the same year. In 2010, Charlene launched Mandarin album As A Sa and the Cantonese EP Beauty Remains. Three albums followed at the rate of one per year: Sweetest Day (2011), Montage (2012), and Blooming (2013).

Solo Albums

2009: Lonely Me

Charlene Choi - Lonely Me

2009: Another Me (EP)

Charlene Choi - Another Me

2010: As A Sa

Charlene Choi - As A Sa

2010: Beauty Remains (EP)

Charlene Choi - beauty remains

2011: Sweetest Day

charlene choi sweetest day

2012: Montage

charlene choi montage

2013: Blooming

charlene choi blooming

Major Profiles on Hedley and Simple Plan Coming Soon

We are pleased to announce that, due to their great, continued success, we will be upgrading mini profiles on Hedley and Simple Plan to major profile features. Once completed, they will be filed under our “Mid-2000s” section. We have just finished adding mini-profiles on Shawn Desman, Marie-Élaine Thibert, and Marianas Trench which have been added to our Mid-2000s section HERE.

Over the holidays, we’ll be adding new profiles on a number of Canadian artists who have managed to sustain success over the past few years. This will be done in the background while we work on our review of the year 2011 in Canadian music.

Deciding which artists deserve a profile and a major profile is subjective. We look mainly at awards, album sales, and hit singles. As a matter of principle, we give priority to profiling artists who are Aboriginal, French, or of Asian descent. Stars get mentioned during our period reviews, big stars get mini profiles, and superstars get major profiles. Of course, we can always “upgrade” an artist’s profile as their success continues and grows.

Kristina Maria

Born: 1989, Ottawa
Debut: 2011
Genre: Dance

Canadians of west Asian descent have always done well. Our very first rock and roll international superstar had such a heritage. It was a Canadian of west Asian ancestry who co-wrote one of the biggest songs of all-time (The Archies’ “Sugar Sugar”) in addition to having his own hits. But it has been awhile since those magical times. Not to worry, as, in 2011, the magic returned.

From the nation’s capital, where Paul Anka emerged back in the 50s, the 9-month-old daughter of Lebanese-born parents began humming along to Arabic songs right on key. When she was a child, she fell in love with The Bodyguard soundtrack and Celine Dion’s Let’s Talk About Love album. Inspired by her cousin Rene Chalhoub’s success as a singer in Lebanon, Kristina Maria joined her elementary school’s choir, composing her first song in Grade 3. She began writing poems and setting them to music. By Grades 5 and 6, she was already recording demos in studios.

Kristina began performing at fairs and exhibitions and took formal lessons at the Ottawa Music Conservatory. While in junior high school, her vocal coach assembled a group of eight girls as “The Showstoppers” to sing The Supremes and ABBA songs at theme parks in Florida, USA. She performed at Disney World, Sea World, and Universal Studios. While in Florida, she made some friends, one of whom owned a recording studio and she was invited to record some more demos. Things began to fall into place.

In the summer of 2009, Maria was contacted by Italian-born, Montreal-raised music executive Vito Luprano, one of the key players in Céline Dion’s works. He had listened to some of Maria’s demos and was impressed. She was invited to Montreal where she sang a successful audition before Vito who became her manager.

At the end of 2010, Maria recorded a slick dance song and a music video was made. In 2011, the song was picked up by Top 40 radio stations across the country and it climbed up the Canadian Hot 100 Singles Chart breaking into the Top 20. The song was “Let’s Play“. It was the 64th biggest song of the year. In May, Maria went on tour to promote her songs and released her debut album Tell the World in 2012 a number of tracks charting on the Billboard Canadian Hot 100 and, to date, three of them attaining gold status. In 2014, Kristina began releasing new singles. “Move Like a Soldier” peaked at #22 on the Hot 100.

Kristina Maria - Tell the World

Singles:

•  “Let’s Play” #19, 64th of 2011, GOLD

•  “Co-Pilot” #26, GOLD

•  “Our Song Comes On” #23, 100th of 2012, GOLD

•  “Animal” #97

•  “Karma” #41

•  “Move Like a Soldier” #22

Kristina Maria Official Website

Kristina Maria Interview  

Anjulie

Origin: Oakville, ON
Debut: 2008
Genre: Pop

This relatively obscure country, where I lived for a year in the 1990s, is known as “the land of many waters”. Mention its name and most people will think you are speaking of a country in Africa. Its small population of only about 800,000 lives mostly in the tightly packed villages along the northern coast of South America. Not a word of Spanish or Potuguese is spoken here; it is an English-speaking country. However, if you ventured around bustling Starbroek Market in Georgetown, you wouldn’t be able to recognize a single word, as the creole is exceptionally strong here. Ethnicities are primarily descendants from India and Africa with some Chinese. Aboriginal peoples live in the interior.

For these reasons, Guyana (and, no, it hasn’t been called British Guiana since 1966) is considered part of the Caribbean, despite its being situated on the mainland of South America. It is considered the second poorest country in the western hemisphere (after Haiti). Many of its citizens yearn for a better life in northern America. One such couple, the Persauds, whose roots lay in India, was able to emigrate to Canada, settling eventually in Oakville, Ontario. And it was there that they gave birth to their fourth child—a daughter whom they named Anjulie.

If Anjulie had been born in Guyana (like Eddy Grant), she would have been surrounded on all sides by reggae, soca, and Indian music like the classic “Benji Darling.” In Canada, she found musical proclivities calling to her, as she got into the music of U2, Prince, Annie Lennox, and Lauryn Hill, and began singing and composing music as a teenager. Her talents were sought by Emma Roberts’ team as they were putting together the soundtrack for the TV series “Unfabulous”. The track “Say Goodbye to Jr. High” was written by Anjulie and she contributed backing vocals and percussion on Roberts’ 2005 album Unfabulous and More.

The Philosopher Kings’ Jon Levine who has managed to carve out a golden niche for himself by helping to launch the careers of a number of high-profile Canadian artists—Nelly Furtado, Fefe Dobson, and Kreesha Turner—helped Anjulie with her debut (self-titled) album which came out in 2009.

Many of the songs were featured in TV series:

“Boom” – ABC’s “Eastwick”, The CW’s “Melrose Place” & “The Vampire Diaries”, and CTV’s “Canada’s Next Top Model”
“Addicted2Me” – MTV’s “The City”
“Crazy That Way”, “Rain”, and “The Heat” – MTV’s “The Hills”

“Boom” topped the US Dance Charts. Anjulie opened for Jesse McCartney during his 2009 United States tour. “Don’t Call Me Baby”, a platinum Top 10 hit for Edmonton’s Kreesha Turner, was co-written by Anjulie. She also co-wrote Fefe Dobson’s “I Want You”. Anjulie’s music also appears in the 2009 movie-musical Fame.

Anjulie’s biggest accomplishment to date came in 2011. Her single “Brand New Chick” broke into the Top 20 Canadian Hot 100, finished as the year’s 52 biggest song, and was, in November, only the third single from a Canadian artist in 2011 to be certified platinum, with 80,000 digital downloads in Canada, the other two being Simple Plan’s “Jet Lag” and Hedley’s “Invincible”. Speaking of Hedley, in 2012, Anjulie opened for them during their Canadian tour.  In 2012, Anjulie released new singles “Headphones”, “Stand Behind the Music”, and “You and I”, the latter making it to #25 on the Canadian Hot 100.

If she ever returned to the country of her parents, she would be told in no uncertain terms, “Ya proppuh gone up, gal!” She has, indeed, but only because she is a storehouse of Canadian talent.

Anjulie’s Official Website

Major Profiles on Canadian Recording Artists of Asian Descent

We are pleased to make the following announcement.

In keeping with our policy of giving priority to Canadian recording artists of Asian descent, we will be putting major profiles of Raghav, Kristina Maria, Anjulie, and Elise Estrada up on the site.

Normally, we reserve major profiles for superstars like Celine Dion, Bryan Adams, and Alanis Morissette. To help break the racist mold of a blacks-and-whites-only club in the West, however, we are making this move.

Let us know if there are any other Canadian artists of Asian descent you would like us to profile. The only requirement we ask is that the artist has had a Top 40 radio hit single in Canada.

Additionally, we will be bumping up Susan Aglukark, the world’s most successful Inuk recordnig artist, from a mini profile to major profile.

Justin Bieber

Born: 1994, London, ON
Origin: Stratford, ON
Debut: 2009
Genres: R&B, Pop

Achievements

• In first 2 years, sold more than 10 million records worldwide
• One of only several Canadian artists to receive a BRIT award
• Most hits on the Billboard Canadian Hot 100 by a Canadian artist
• By the end of the noughties decade, was the most googled individual in the world
• Several JUNO awards

Studio Albums and Hit Singles

2009: My World (EP)

• 2x Platinum in Canada and the U.K.
• Hit Singles: “One Less Lonely Girl” (#10 WP), “One Time” (#12 WP; #81 YE), “Love Me” (#12 WP), “Favourite Girl” (#15 WP)

2010: My World 2.0

• 2x Platinum in Canada, the U.S., and Australia
• Hit Singles: “Baby” (#3 WP; #61 YE), “Somebody to Love” (#10 WP; #87), “Never Let You Go” (#14), “Eenie Meenie” (#14 WP; #76 YE), “U Smile” (#17 WP)

2011: Under the Mistletoe

• 3x Platinum
• Singles: “Mistletoe” (#9 WP)

2012: Believe

• 2x Platinum
• Singles: “All Around the World” (#10 WP), “Boyfriend” (#1 WP; #35 YE), “As Long As You Love Me” (#9 WP; #48 YE), “Die in your Arms” (#14 WP), “Beauty and a Beat” (#4 WP)

2013: Believe: Acoustic

justin bieber - believe acoustic

• Platinum

2013: Journals (Compilation Album)

Justin Bieber - Journals

• Singles: “Heartbreaker” (#15 WP), “All That Matters” (#14 WP), “Hold Tight” (#23 WP), “Recovery” (#30 WP), “Bad Day” (#26 WP), “All Bad” (#26 WP), “PYD” (#32 WP), “Roller Coaster” (#24 WP), “Change Me” (#34 WP), “Confident” (#29 WP).

2015: Purpose

Justin Bieber - Purpose

All 18 tracks from the deluxe version of the album simultaneously appeared on the Billboard Canadian Hot 100 the week after release. Three #1 hits internationally: “What Do You Mean”, “Sorry”, and “Love Yourself” (the latter two were #1 and #2 on Billboard Canada’s year-end chart for 2016 respectively). Multiplatinum certification for the album in Canada.

Other Singles

• “Never Say Never” (#11 WP)
• “Next to You” with Chris Brown (#32 WP)
• “Turn to You” (#22 WP)
• “Beautiful” with Carly Rae Jepsen (#37 WP)
• “Live My Life” with Far East Movement (#4 WP, #85 YE)
• “Where Are U Now” with Skrillex and Diplo (#5WP, #15 YE)
• “Cold Water” with Major Lazer (#1 WP, #18 YE)
• “Let Me Love You” with DJ Snake (#4 WP, #31 YE)

Legend: WP – Weekly Peak, YE – Year-End Top 100

Canada has supplied the world with a number of teen stars over the years, and, unlike the United States, all have enjoyed continued success in their adult years.

Like many Canadians these days, Bieber was raised by a single mother. He grew up in Stratford, Ontario teaching himself drums, guitar, piano and trumpet. He entered a local singing contest when he was 12 and finished second. Taking advantage of new technologies, he uploaded videos onto internet website YouTube in 2007, of his performing covers of tunes of American artists Usher and Stevie Wonder. They took the world by storm and he racked up 10 million views.

The videos attracted the attention of So So Def management executive Scooter Braun. At just 13 years of age, Bieber was flown down to Atlanta, USA to meet with industry personnel and discuss a career. American rapper Usher and singer Justin Timberlake took an immediate interest in him but, as Usher and Braun were connected, Bieber signed with them and Island Records president L.A. Reid in October 2008. It was decided to make an EP first which was titled My World. The first single released was “One Time”, which charted globally, peaking at #12 in Canada. My World was certified double-platinum in both Canada and the United Kingdom. Eventually, seven singles from the album charted in the Billboard Hot 100, a record for a debut album.

Bieber followed up with a full-length album called My World 2.0, released in March, 2010. “Baby” was an international smash. At home, it was a #3 hit and was the 61st biggest song of the year. It topped the charts in France, peaked at #3 in Britain and Australia, and eventually became the highest certified single in U.S. history. To date, its music video has garnered over 800 million views on YouTube. The album matched the success of its predecessor.

He followed the album with both acoustic and remix albums and embarked on a world tour to the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Oceania. 93% of the venues sold out.

In 2011, Bieber became one of only five Canadian recording artists to win a BRIT award (International Breakthrough Act) and won two JUNO awards: pop album of the year (My World 2.0) and the fan choice award. In November he released a Christmas album called Under the Mistletoe. It was his most successful album in Canada, attaining triple-platinum sales. Track “Mistletoe”, an original song composed entirely by Canadians, was a Top 10 hit.

Bieber released Believe in 2012 which was certified double Platinum in November and became the best-selling Canadian album released in 2012 internationally.  The album spawned several Top 20 singles, including #1 “Boyfriend”, the 5th song by a Canadian artist to top the Billboard Canadian Hot 100.  He went on tour with labelmate Carly Rae Jepsen.  All shows in Northern America sold out in 30 minutes. Towards the end of 2013, Bieber released a single every week all of which made the Top 40. These singles plus a few more were put onto compilation album Journals.

In 2015, Justin Bieber teamed up with EDM producers Skrillex and Diplo releasing the award winning single “Where Are U Now”, a Top 5 hit. Promotion for the lead single “What Do You Mean” of upcoming album Purpose involved posting photos on social media of a host of celebrities holding up signs counting down the number of days to release. The song debuted at #1 in 90 countries. Album Purpose and its singles broke a number of chart records around the world. Tracks “Sorry” and “Love Yourself” topped the charts in various countries around the world. Purpose became the first album released in 2015 to achieve multiplatinum certification in Canada.

Justin Bieber Official Site

Elise Estrada

Born: 1987
Origin: Maple Ridge / Surrey, BC
Debut: 2007
Genres: R&B, Pop

Studio Albums and Hit Singles

2008: Elise Estrada

• Juno Nomination for R&B / Soul Album of the Year
• Singles: “Unlove You” (#11), “Insatiable”, “Ix Nay”, “These Three Words”, “Crash & Burn”, “Poison”, “One Last Time”

2010: Here Kitty Kittee

• Singles: “You’re So Hollywood”, “Lipstick”

2010: #Round3

Elise Estrada - Round3

• Singles: “U Don’t Need 2 Know”, “Wonder Woman”, “Piece of Me”

“Being an Asian singer in North America hasn’t always been easy. There is nothing more rewarding than being a role model for my culture and showing aspiring artists that if you want something bad enough, you can achieve it, regardless of the odds stacked against you”  —Elise Estrada

April 5, 2008 was an inspirational milestone in Canadian music history: it was the first time a Canadian of east-Asian descent scored a Top 40 radio hit. The feat was accomplished by a young woman from Maple Ridge, BC named Elise Estrada.

Elise was born in the Philippines but when she was four, her family immigrated to Canada. She grew up in the Vancouver area where she participated in a number of singing competitions as well as beauty pageants. When she was 17 she was crowned Miss Vancouver Princess. After travelling to Los Angeles, U.S., she landed a role in a Disney Television pilot based on her life as a singer.

Vancouver radio station The Beat 94.5 FM offered a singing competition which she won. Graced with a beautiful voice, she was offered a record contract with RockSTAR / Universal and released the single “Insatiable”. It received radio airplay on The Beat.

Her second single, “Unlove You” was released and was brought into regular radio rotation. It entered the Canadian Hot 100 on December 22, 2007 gradually rising into the Top 50. When it was made available on iTunes, it shot up to #11 on the charts where it peaked on April 5, 2008. It made the Top 100 year-eand chart. This is remarkable given that no music video was shot to promote the song.

Estrada performed at the Canada Day Festival in Surrey, BC and released a full-length (self-titled) album in September. The album was produced by Adam H (Loverboy, Ne-Yo, George Clinton) and Sean Hosein & Dane DeViller (Hedley, Jessica Simpson). Grammy winner Orlando Calzada (Destiny’s Child, Jennifer Lopez) took care of the mixing. It was nominated for a Juno award—R&B album of the year in 2009. She won the Canadian Radio Music Award for Best New Artist in the R&B/Dance category. Several other singles were released from the album. “Crash and Burn” was nominated for two MuchMusic video awards (see below).

Estrada hosted a dating competition MuchMusic television series called Love Court which featured her “First Degree” as the theme song. In 2010, she released her second album, Here Kitty Kittee which spawned two singles. The music video for “Lipstick” was filmed in London, England.

In 2012, Elise released single “Piece of Me” as well as a charity single about the suicide of Vancouver bullied teen Amanda Todd. In 2013 she released a charity single “All It Takes Is a Moment” with proceeds going to victims of typhoon Haiyan which devastated part of The Philippines. Her third album, #Round3 appeared in 2014.

Elise’s younger sister Emmalyn is part of internationally charting group G.R.L.

Elise Estrada hasn’t racked up gold and platinum certifications as of yet, but she has set the stage for all future Canadian recording artists whose roots lie in east Asia. And in so doing, she is a true heroine and will be remembered in the generations to come as a Canadian legend.

Elise Estrada’s Official Website

Hedley

Debut: 2005
Origin: Vancouver
Genres: Pop, Rock

Members

Jacob Hoggard – lead vocals
Chris Crippin – guitars
Tommy Mac – bass
Dave Rosin – drums

Achievements

• 2 double-platinum albums
• 13 Top 40 Singles, most of which made the year-end Top 100
• Biggest Canadian song of the year 2010 (“Perfect”)
• Triple Platinum single: “Kiss You Inside Out”
• 18 Juno Nominations, including 2 wins

Studio Albums and Hit Singles

2005: Hedley

• 2x Platinum
• Hit Singles: “On My Own” (#1), “Trip” (#11)

2007: Famous Last Words

• Platinum
• Hit Singles: “Never Too Late” (#4 WP; #23 YE), “For the Nights I Can’t Remember” (#6 WP; #14 YE), “Old School” (#10 WP; #61 YE)

2009: The Show Must Go

• 2x Platinum
• Hit Singles: “Cha Ching” (#6 WP; #58 YE*), “Perfect” (#7 WP; #18 YE), “Don’t Talk to Strangers” (#11 WP; #54 YE), “Hands Up” (#27 WP; #96 YE)

2011: Storms

• Platinum
• Hit Singles: “Invincible” (Weekly Chart Peak #9, 69th of 2011 and 97th of 2012), “One Life” (Weekly Chart Peak #16, 57th of 2012), “Kiss You Inside Out” (Weekly Chart Peak #2, 19th of 2012 and 83rd of 2013).

2013: Wild Life

Hedley - Wild Life

• Platinum
• Hit Singles: “Anything” (Weekly Chart Peak #5); “Crazy For You” #7; “Heaven in our Headlights” #14; “Pocket Full of Dreams” #33.

2015: Hello

Hedley - Hello

• Hit Singles: “Hello” (Weekly Chart Peak #20); “Lose Control” #37.

Notes:

WP – Weekly Peak
YE – Year-End

* Cha Ching was the 54th biggest song of 2009 and the 92nd biggest song of 2010.

Hedley formed in Abbotsford, B.C. in 2004. Lead singer Jacob Hoggard’s bandmates bet him $150 that he would not audition for Canadian Idol and lost the bet; Hoggard auditioned, became one of the second season’s ten finalists and ended up finishing third, behind winner Kalan Porter and 2nd place Theresa Sokyrka. After leaving the show, Hoggard decided to reform the band and recruited Crippin, Mac, and Rosin. Perhaps due mostly to Hoggard’s high public profile resulting from his Canadian Idol days, the band was signed by Universal.

In 2005, Hedley released its debut (self-titled) album, and “On My Own” became a chart-topping hit single in Canada. MuchMusic brought music videos of all singles released into heavy rotation for the next two years. The album was eventually certified double-platinum.

Beginning a tradition of releasing a studio album every two years during an odd-numbered year, Hedley released its second album, Famous Last Words, in 2007. Three singles from the album peaked in the Top 10. “For the Nights I Can’t Remember” finished as the 14th biggest song of 2008.

The Show Must Go followed in 2009. “Cha Ching” sprinted up the charts peaking at #6. Hedley performed this song during the closing ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. “Perfect”, a piano ballad, was the most successful Canadian single in 2010, the 18th biggest song of the year. The song won the JUNO award for video of the year and was their most successful song south of the border, making it to #25 on the Billboard Adult Pop chart. The band toured with Faber Driver, Boys Like Girls, The Stereos, and Fefe Dobson.

Heralding their fourth album Storms, released late in 2011, was the single “Invincible”.  The band released a new non-album single in 2012, “Kiss You Inside Out” which peaked at #2 on Billboard and became their best-selling single (Triple Platinum).  A special bilingual version was recorded which featured Star Academie finalist Andrée-Anne Leclerc. Hedley released platinum album Wild Life towards the end of 2013 which spawned a number of hit singles.

Hedley takes its name from both a town in British Columbia as well as a street from their hometown of Abbotsford. Hedley has toured with Simple Plan, Nickelback, and Bon Jovi.

Hedley’s Official Site

Raghav

Born: 1981
Origin: Calgary
Debut: 2003
Genre: R&B, Pop, Dance

Achievements

• Gold Single: “Fire”
• The only artist to score three Top 10 singles on the UK Chart in 2004
• Has won seven music awards and been nominated for a Juno
• 5 of the tracks off his debut album peaked in the UK singles chart at #15 or better

Studio Albums and Hit Singles

2004: Storyteller

• Worldwide sales: 1.6 million
• Singles: “So Confused” (#6 UK), “It Can’t Be Right” (#8 UK), “Can’t Get Enough” (#10 UK), “Angel Eyes” (#7 UK), “Let’s Work It Our” (#15 UK)

2009: Identity

• Peaked on the India albums chart at #3
• Singles: “My Kinda Girl” (#3 India), “Humrahee” (#3 India)

2012: The Phoenix

• Singles: “So Much” (Nominated for a Juno Award), “Fire” (94th of 2011 CA; GOLD single)

Raghav is a vital component in the Canadian music scene simply because his talent is astounding.

He was born in Toronto, his parents having immigrated from India. The family soon after settled in Alberta—Calgary and Fort McMurray. As a teenager, while falling in love with Indian music, he also took a liking to American R&B. He wrote a song when he was 16 that won an award by the National Songwriters Association of America and the following year moved to Los Angeles to receive vocal training from Seth Riggs, mentor of Michael Jackson, Madonna, and Stevie Wonder. After a year, he relocated to Liverpool, UK to study at the city’s Institute for Performing Arts. There, he joined a local R&B band called 11/7.

In 2003, Raghav signed a deal with A&R/V2 Records collaborating with DJ / producer 2Play and recorded the single “So Confused”. It was a big hit in Britain peaking at #6 on the official singles chart. In fact, every single that Raghav released rocketed its way up the singles chart into the Top 15. A total of five singles did so, four of which made the Top 10. A full-length studio album with 11 additional tracks was released in September 2004 called Storyteller. “Angel Eyes” was inspired by the reggae classic “Murder She Wrote” by Chaka Demus and Pliers, while “Sooner or Later” featured fellow Canadian artist Kardinal Offishall.

In 2005, Raghav toured the world in the truest sense, performing in India, Africa, New York, Australia, and, of course, Canada.

Canada’s fellow Commonwealth country India was no doubt eager to get their hands on Raghav. In 2009, Universal Music India signed him to release his second album, Identity. The album was a huge hit in the second most populated country on earth, peaking at #3, aided by a pair of Top 3 singles. It features songs in both Hindi and English. “My Kinda Girl” featured rapper Redman.

After record deals in Britain and India, Raghav was ready to come home and, in 2010, signed with Canadian label Cordova Bay (State of Shock, Acres of Lions). He released the single “Fire” which became a GOLD-certified digital download despite no music video being made. It was released in conjunction with the Hindi “Kya Se Kya Ho Gaya”. “Fire” made the year-end Top 100 chart of 2011. Again teaming up with Kardinal Offishall, Raghav recorded “So Much” which was nominated for a Juno in 2011. Cordova Bay released Raghav’s third studio album The Phoenix in 2012. “Top of the World” made the Canadian Hot 100. At the end of 2013, Raghav released “WooHoo” which received nation-wide radio airplay. In 2015, he launched single “Until the Sun Comes Up” which features U.S. singer Nelly. Its lyric video surpassed one million views.

Raghav’s style is a unique blend of pop, reggae, R&B, rap, dance, and Indian music. Not only should Canadians of Indian descent (who make up a large portion of Canada’s population) be proud of him, all Canadians should be. He’s one of our best.

Raghav’s Official Website

Michael Bublé

Born: 1975, Burnaby, BC
Debut: 2003
Genres: Jazz, AC

Achievements

• All 5 studio albums quadruple platinum or higher
• 3 Top 10 hits
• Nominated for 2 BRITs
• 3 Grammy Award wins
• 25 Juno Nominations, including 11 wins

Major Juno Awards

2006: Song of the Year, “Home”
2006: Artist of the Year
2006: Album of the Year, It’s Time
2010: Album of the Year, Crazy Love
2010: Song of the Year, “Haven’t Met You Yet”

Studio Albums and Hit Singles

2003: Michael Bublé

• 4x Platinum
• Singles: “Sway” (#15 AUL), “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart”, “Kissing a Fool”

2005: It’s Time

• 6x Platinum
• Juno Album of the Year
• Singles: “Home” (Juno Song of the Year; Platinum Digital Download), “Feeling Good”, “Save the Last Dance for Me”

2007: Call Me Irresponsible

• 4x Platinum
• Singles: “Everything” (#10 CA), “Me and Mrs. Jones”, “Lost” (#19 UK), “It Had Better Be Tonight”, “Comin’ Home Baby”

2009: Crazy Love

• 4x Platinum
• Juno Album of the Year
• Singles: “Haven’t Met You Yet” (#5 CA & UK; #31 CA-YE; Juno Song of the Year), “Hold On”, “Cry Me a River”, “Crazy Love”, “Hollywood” (#2 IL)

2011: Christmas

• DIAMOND

2013: To Be Loved

Michael Buble - To Be Loved

• 2x Platinum
• Singles: “It’s a Beautiful Day” (#20)

2016: Nobody but Me

michael-buble-nobody-but-me

Other Singles

• “Spider-Man Theme” (#6 CA) from the 2004 Spider-Man 2 soundtrack
• “Let It Snow!” (#22 AUL)

Legend: AUL-Australia, CA-Canada, UK-United Kingdom, US-YE-United States Year-End Chart, IL-Ireland
Note: Only countries with highest positions mentioned

Beginnings

Michael Bublé was born in Burnaby, a suburb on the east side of Vancouver. He was attracted to jazz vocal music as a child, especially Bing Crosby. His family noticed his singing talents when he was 13. As an avid Canucks fan, initially, Buble wanted to become a hockey player, and played the game in his youth. From age 14, he spent his summers working with his father, a commercial fisherman.

It was Michael’s Italian grandfather, a plumber, who began encouraging his musical talents and who paid for his singing lessons. Any nightclubs that needed plumbing work done were offered service in exchange for giving Michael stage time. He was 16. Two years later, Buble entered a local talent contest and won but was disqualified because he was underage. The organizer, Bev Delich, made it up to him by entering him in the Youth Talent Search which he won as well. Michael asked Delich to become his manager; she accepted. Over the next several years, Buble performed every gig possible, performing on cruise ships, at shopping malls and corporate events, in hotel lounges, bars, clubs, for corporate events, even doing singing telegrams. He made appearances in several television shows like The X-Files. But success eluded him.

In 1997, when he was 22, he performed on national television via a documentary called “Big Band Boom!” The same year he became a frequent guest on CTV’s Vicki Gabereau show as a fill-in for guests who cancelled. He performed with Diana Krall who was impressed with him. He began composing songs for Canadian cinema which led to a couple of Genie nominations. He recorded a self-financed independent album, First Dance, which went unnoticed. He pursued high-profile Vancouverite Bruce Allen to be his manager but was ignored. He relocated to Toronto to appear in some musicals.

At the end of the decade, Bublé’s musical career was, despite all the effort, going nowhere. He was ready to give up and pursue a career in journalism.

Turning Point

In the summer of 2000, Michael McSweeney, a speech writer for former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, heard Michael Buble sing at a corporate party. Mulroney’s daughter Caroline was getting married in September. McSweeney recommended Buble to sing at the wedding giving the Mulroney’s a copy of his independent album. The former P.M. extended the invitation, and Buble sang “Mack the Knife”. Guess who else was attending the wedding? David Foster. Bingo!

Foster was indeed impressed; however, he was honest in saying that he did not know how to market Bublé’s style of music. Buble followed Foster to Los Angeles, refusing to give up hope. He appeared in the films Duets and Totally Blonde. He recorded two more independent albums, Babalu (2001) and Dream (2002). At some point Paul Anka arrived on the scene to personally endorse Buble and Foster finally agreed to sign him onto his label 143 Records with no assurances from Warner.

Stardom

The self-titled 2003 release contained contemporary standards of such songs as Van Morrison’s “Moondance”, George Michael’s “Kissing a Fool”, The Bee Gees “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart”, Queen’s “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”, and Paul Anka’s “Put You Head on My Shoulder”. “Sway” became, perhaps, the best-known track. Originally, a 1953 Spanish mambo song by a Mexican composer, it was recorded by Dean Martin the following year with English lyrics by Norman Gimbel.

Buble went on tour to promote the album and made a number of TV appearances. The album was eventually certified 4x Platinum in Canada but saw its greatest success in Australia where it topped the album charts and went 7x Platinum.

The following year, Buble was asked to sing the spider-man theme for the huge blockbuster Spider-Man 2. It became his first Top 10 hit in Canada.

Bublé’s sophomore release It’s Time became his biggest-selling album at home, selling over 600,000 copies. “Home”, an original song, which Buble co-wrote, won the Juno for Song of the Year. Buble performed songs with Nelly Furtado and world-renowned trumpeter Chris Botti. “Save the Last Dance for Me” was a 1960 hit for Ben E. King. “Feeling Good” was originally written for the musical “Roar of the Greasepaint”. It’s Time won the Juno for Album of the Year and Bublé for Artist of the Year.

Call Me Irresponsible came next, in 2007. “Everything”, another song Buble co-wrote, was a Top 10 hit at home. The album also contains the song “Lost” which he co-wrote with Jann Arden. He sang with English actress Emily Blunt for “Me and Mrs. Jones”, originally a hit for Billy Paul in 1972. He performed the original song “Comin’ Home Baby” with American vocal group Boys II Men.

In 2009, Buble released Crazy Love which was especially well-received in the U.K. & Ireland (8x and 9x Platinum). With it, Buble received his second song and album of the year awards. Co-composed “Haven’t Me You Yet” became his biggest hit: Top 5 in the U.K. and Canada and appearing on the year-end American Billboard chart at #39. Buble co-wrote a second song on the album—”Hold On”. He performed Ron Sexsmith’s “Whatever It Takes”. “Hollywood” was included on a re-release of the album and made it to #2 on the Irish charts.

Buble released a Christmas album in October, 2011. It became his highest certified studio album, eventually reaching diamond certification and won the Album of the Year award at the JUNOs. Albums To Be Loved and Nobody but Me followed in 2013 and 2016 respetively.

                    Copyright 2011 by the Canadian Music Blog

Simple Plan

Formed: 1999 in Montréal
Debut: 2002
Genre: Pop Punk

Members

Pierre Bouvier – lead vocals
Chuck Comeau – drums & percussion
David Desrosiers – bass guitar, backing vocals
Sébastien Lefebvre – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
Jeff Stinco – lead guitar

Achievements

• Quadruple-platinum album: Still Not Getting Any
• Over 7 million albums sold worldwide
• Eleven Top 20 Singles
• Platinum single: “Jet Lag”
• 9 Juno Nominations, including 2 wins

Studio Albums and Hit Singles

2002: No Pads, No Helmets…Just Balls

• 2x Platinum
• Singles: “Perfect” (#5), “I’d Do Anything”, “I’m Just a Kid”, “Addicted”

2004: Still Not Getting Any…

• 4x Platinum
• Singles: “Welcome to My Life” (#1), “Shut Up” (#12), “Untitled (How Could This Happen to Me?)” (#3), “Crazy” (#4), “Perfect World”

2008: Simple Plan

• Platinum
• Singles: “When I’m Gone” (#11), “Your Love Is a Lie” (#16), “Save You” (#18)

2011: Get Your Heart On!

• Gold
• Singles: “Jet Lag” (#11; 37th of 2011), “Can’t Keep My Hands Off You”, “Astronaut”, “Summer Paradise” (#8; 22nd of 2012)

2016: Taking One For the Team

simple-plan-taking-one-for-the-team

Bouvier, Comeau and Desrosiers were involved in a moderately-popular punk band in the 90s called Reset. For various reasons, they departed, and later hooked up with Lefebvre and Stinco who had dabbled in other bands. The five became Simple Plan in 1999.

They developed a spirited punk sound and, after writing some songs and touring, they booked studio time to record their works. A couple of members of other bands assisted them in the studio, most notably Mark Hoppus of Blink-182. The resulting album, under Lava / Atlantic / Warner, bore the rugby slogan No Pads, No Helmets…Just Balls, and was released in March of 2002. Single “Perfect” became a Top 5 hit in Canada. The group was able to achieve international success. Besides Canada, the album was certified double-platinum in the two most lucrative markets for music in the world: the United States and Japan. It was also a hit in the United Kingdom , Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, the Philippines Singapore, and Australia. In all, the album sold over 4 million copies worldwide. They opened for Avril Lavigne during her Try to Shut Me Up tour.

High-profile Canadian producer Bob Rock was assigned to the task of producing Simple Plan’s sophomore album, Still Not Getting Any. It was the band’s most successful album at home, attaining quadruple-platinum sales. Four hit singles were released from the album. The style of the album was somewhat of a departure from their pure punk debut release, drifting over towards modern rock.

In 2006, Simple Plan received its only Juno, the fan choice award. Fans would have to wait four years before the release of their third album. In 2007, Bouvier went down to Miami, USA to meet producer Dave Fortman who had worked with Evanescence. Additional producers were Nate Hills (Justin Timberlake, Nelly Furtado) and Max Martin (Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears). Parts of the new album were recorded in Los Angeles, Montreal, Miami, and New York. The (self-titled) album came out in 2008 and spawned three hit singles, once of which the band performed during the closing ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. The album struck platinum.

Collaborations becoming increasingly popular after the first decade of the new millennium, K’naan, Marie-Mai, Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo, and British superstar Natasha Bedingfield were brought on board to contribute to Simple Plan’s fourth album, Get Your Heart On. The album was produced by Brian Howes (Hedley). “Jet Lag” was released in both official languages. The English version featured Bedingfield and the French version Marie-Mai. “Jet Lag” became a platinum single.  “Summer Paradise” was the third most successful Canadian song of 2012, on the Billboard Year-End Hot 100 at #22. At the end of 2013, the band released an EP of reworked outtakes from the Get Your Heart On! album. Album Taking One for the Team appeared in 2016.

Simple Plan’s Official Site
 

Ariane Moffatt

Born: 1979, Saint-Romuald, QC
Debut: 2002
Genre: Pop Fusion

Achievements

• Five songs nominated for the Felix song of the year award
• Felix Song of the year award (“Je veux tout”, 2008)
• Felix Female Artist of the Year Award, 2006
• All albums named Best Pop-Rock album by ADISQ
• 3 Juno Nominations, including a win for Fracophone Album of the Year (Tous les sens, 2009)

Studio Albums and Hit Singles

2002: Aquanaute

• Platinum
• Felix Pop-Rock Album of the Year
• Singles: “Fracture du crâne”, “Poussière d’ange”, “Point de mire” (Felix song of the year nomination)

2005: Le cœur dans

• Gold
• Felix Pop-Rock Album of the Year
• Singles: “Montreal” (Felix song of the year nomination), “Will You Follow Me” (Felix song of the year nomination)

2008: Tous les sens

• Gold
• Felix Pop-Rock Album of the Year
• Juno Francophone Album of the Year
• Singles: “Je veux tout” (Felix song of the year award), “Réverbère” (Felix song of the year nomination)

2012: MA

• Debuted at #2 on the Canadian Billboard albums chart
• Singles: “Mon Corps” (French), “In My Body” (English)

2015: 22h22

Ariane Moffatt - 22h22

• Felix Pop Album of the Year
• Singles: “Debout”

Ariane Moffatt has released only three studio albums but all won the Felix for best pop-rock album of the year. And one of them won a Juno award.

Moffatt studied piano and jazz singing at the Cégep Saint-Laurent in Montréal. She entered and won several performance contests before enrolling in pop music and singing at the Université du Québec à Montréal. She hooked up with Marc Déry to further her training and ended up touring with Daniel Belanger as keyboardist and backup singer. He had her perform some of her own songs during his concerts as well. This led to her signing with Audiogram and releasing her debut album Aquanaute in 2002 which went platinum. “Fracture du crâne” and “Poussière d’ange” were popular, and its track “Point de mire” was nominated for song of the year at the Felix gala. Aquanaute was named pop-rock album of the year.

In 2005, Moffatt released Le coeur dans la tête which won her second pop-rock album of the year. As well, she was named Female Artist of the year. “Montreal” and “Will You Follow Me” were nominated for the song of the year award.

Her third album, Tous les sens, came out in 2008. Again, it won the Felix for best pop-rock album and, additionally, the Juno award for Francophone Album of the Year. “Je veux tout” won the Felix for song of the year. “Réverbère” was nominated the following year.

In 2012, Moffatt released MA which debuted at #2 on the Canadian Billboard albums chart.  Most of the tracks on the album are English with a few French, Moffatt being fluently bilingual. She released 22h22 in 2015 which won the Felix award for Pop Album of the Year.

Like Nelly Furtado, Moffatt’s style of music is a fusion of different genres: folk, jazz, reggae, electronic, and pop.

              Copyright 2011 by the Canadian Music Blog

Avril Lavigne

Born: 1984, Belleville, ON
Debut: 2002
Genres: Rock

Achievements

• Has sold 35 million records worldwide
• Diamond album (Let Go)
• 3 diamond albums in Japan
• Song “Girlfriend” was #1 in at least 7 countries around the world
• Domestically: 13 Top 40 singles, including 5 top tens, and 1 number one
• Internationally: 21 Top 40 singles, including 12 top tens, and 2 number ones
• 7 songs in the Billboard Top 100 year-end charts
• 2 songs in the Billboard Top 100 of the decade (#83 “Complicated” and #94 “Girlfriend”)
• Garnered 18 Juno award nominations in five years
• Won 7 of 21 Juno nominations

Major Juno Awards

2003: Song of the Year, “Complicated”
2003: Album of the Year, Let Go
2005: Artist of the Year

Studio Albums and Hit Singles*

2002: Let Go

• Diamond in Canada, Italy, and Japan
• 17 million copies sold worldwide
• Album of the Year Juno
• Singles: “Complicated” (#1 AL & NZ; #11 Billboard year-end chart; song of the year Juno), “Sk8er Boi” (#1 IL; #96 Billboard year-end chart), “I’m with You” (#4 US; #18 Billboard year-end chart), “Losing Grip” (#18 IL), “Mobile” (#26 NZ)

2004: Under My Skin

• 5x Platinum
• Diamond in Japan
• 10 million copies sold worldwide
• Singles: “Don’t Tell Me” (#5 CA & UK; #92 Billboard year-end chart), “My Happy Ending” (#5 UK; #54 Billboard year-end chart), “Nobody’s Home” (#19 IL), “He Wasn’t” (#23 UK).

2007: The Best Damn Thing

• 2x Platinum
• Diamond in Japan
• 6 million copies worldwide
• Singles: “Girlfriend” (#1 CA, AL, AT, IL, NZ, SD, & US; #21 Billboard year-end chart), “When You’re Gone” (#3 UK), “Hot” (#10 CA; #42 CA year-end chart of 2008), “Keep Holding On” (#14 CA; #64 Billboard year-end chart) 

2011: Goodbye Lullaby

• Singles: “What the Hell” (#5 NZ; #63 CA year-end chart 2011), “Alice” (#19 AT), “Smile” (#25 AL), “Wish You Were Here”.

2013: Avril Lavigne

Avril Lavigne - Avril Lavigne

• Gold
• Singles: “Here’s To Never Growing Up” (#17 CA), “Rock N Roll” (#37 CA), “Let Me Go” (#12 CA).

Legend: CA-Canada, AL-Australia, AT-Austria, NZ-New Zealand, IL-Ireland, US-United States, UK-United Kingdom, SD-Sweden

* Western countries with the highest chart position reported only.

Early Life

Avril Lavigne was born as a middle child in Belleville, Ontario on the northern shore of Lake Ontario. When she was five, the family moved east to the small town of Napanee (40 km west of Kingston). She played hockey with the boys, sung in her church choir, and taught herself the guitar. Impressed with her singing skills her father bought her musical equipment: microphone, drum kit, keyboard, and guitars. Eventually, their basement was converted into a studio. Her parents took her to sing karaoke during her teens.

In 1997, 14-year-old Lavigne entered a radio contest to perform with Shania Twain at a concert in Ottawa attended by 20 thousand people. She won. Before she knew it, she was up on stage with the country diva. Avril corrected Shania by saying she was from Napanee not Nepean (suburb of Ottawa). The two sang a duet: “What Made You Say That”. Later on, when Avril became an international superstar, Shania mentioned in an interview, in a vivid state of shock, that this was the same teenage girl who appeared with her on stage and had told her that she wanted to be a famous singer. “Oh, my God! Oh, my God!” Twain said in disbelief.

Close to Christmas in 1999, while singing country songs in karaoke at Kingston’s Chapters bookstore, Lavigne was discovered by Cliff Fabri of Romanline Entertainment who became her manager. She took part in a number of music festivals and singing contests, performing songs by Garth Brooks, Shania Twain, and The Dixie Chicks. She also began composing her own songs. After a performance with the Lennox Community Theatre, she was invited by folk artist Steve Medd, to contribute vocals on two of his albums.

Fabri shepherded Avril through practice sessions in her parents’ basement and sent out VHS tapes of her home performances to several record companies. Nettwerk Records’ Mark Jowett, the man who had discovered Sarah McLachlan, invited Avril to work with Peter Zizzo in New York during the summer of 2000.

Superstardom

In 2001, Fabri took Avril on her second trip to New York to meet with executives of Arista Records. After a three-song audition, Antonio Reid and Ken Krongard were so impressed that they immediately signed her.

Lavigne was sent to Los Angeles to co-write songs with expert songwriting team “The Matrix”, among others. The result was 2002’s Let Go. Spawning three Top 5 singles, the album went diamond in three countries, including Canada, and sold 17 million copies worldwide. It was declared album of the year at the Junos, and the single “Complicated”, which appeared on the year-end Billboard chart at #11 and the decade-end chart at #83, won the song of the year Juno. “Weird” Al Yankovic did a parody of the song. In a piece of trivia, Lavigne became the youngest artist to score a #1 album in the United Kingdom. In the U.S. she was nominated for eight Grammy awards. The following year, she made the cover of Rolling Stone magazine and cover of Maxim in 2004.

Lavigne co-wrote the song “Breakaway” for the winner of the first season of American Idol, Kelly Clarkson, a #3 hit in Canada and #6 in the U.S.

In 2004, fellow Canadian singer-songwriter Chantal Kreviazuk joined the team, and her husband Raine Maida co-produced Under My Skin. It topped the charts in several countries and sold 10 million copies, including half a million at home. To promote the album, Avril embarked on her first world tour. As with her debut, the album spawned three Top 5 singles. She was proclaimed artist of the year at the Junos.

In 2006, Entertainment Group approached Avril to compose a song for the film Eragon. She wrote and recorded “Keep Holding On”, which made the Billboard year-end chart.

The Best Damn Thing, Lavigne’s third album, was released under RCA in 2007. “Girlfriend” became her biggest hit internationally, topping the charts in many countries. In the U.S. it became the 94th biggest song of the entire decade. She recorded the song in several different languages including English, French, Chinese, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, German, and Portuguese. It was ranked as the most downloaded song of the year. The English music video on Youtube has been viewed over 250 million times. Lavigne scored a diamond hat trick in Japan as this was her third album to sell a million copies there.

It took four years before Avril released a new album. After ending her marriage, performing at the Vancouver Olympics, and writing a song for Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland (“Alice”), Goodbye Lullaby hit store shelves in March, 2011. She appeared on many chat, variety, and reality shows performing the first single “What the Hell”, a Top 5 hit (see below). She went on a world tour to promote the album, tackling one continent at a time. In 2013, Avril married Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger and they worked together on her fifth self-titled album which spawned three Top 40 hits.

                  Copyright 2011 by the Canadian Music Blog

Nickelback

Formed: 1995, Hanna, AB
Debut: 1996
Genres: Rock, Grunge, Metal

Primary Members

Chad Kroeger (lead vocals, guitar)
Ryan Peake (vocals, guitar)
Mike Kroeger (bass)
Ryan Videdal (drums to 2005)
Daniel Adair (drums, 2005-Present)

Achievements

• Have sold 35 million records worldwide
• 4 albums 5x platinum or higher
• Star on the Walk of Fame (2007)
• Biggest song of 2002 in the U.S. (“How You Remind Me”)
• 2 songs in Billboard’s decade-end Top 100 (#4 “How You Remind Me” and #89 “Photograph”)
• Domestically: 14 Top 40 hits
• Worldwide: 22 Top 40 hits
• Won 12 of 31 Juno Nominations

Major Juno Awards

• Group of the Year 4 Times (2002, 2004, 2006, 2009)
• Song of the Year, “How You Remind Me”, 2002
• Album of the Year, Dark Horse, 2009

Studio Albums and Hit Singles*

1996: Curb

• Gold

2000: The State

• Platinum

2001: Silver Side Up

• 8x Platinum
• Hit Singles: “How You Remind Me” (#1 CA, US, IL, AT; #1 Billboard year-end chart; Juno for Song of the Year), “Too Bad” (#6 IL), “Never Again” (#30 UK)

2003: The Long Road

• 5x Platinum
• Hit Singles: “Someday” (#1 CA; #17 Billboard year-end chart), “Figured You Out” (#10 AL), “Feelin’ Way Too Damn Good” (#39 UK)

2005: All the Right Reasons

• 7x Platinum
• Hit Singles: “Photograph” (#1 CA; #43 and #38 Billboard year-end charts for 2005-06), “Animals” (#27 AL), “Savin’ Me” (#2 CA; #49 Billboard year-end chart), “Far Away” (#2 AL & NZ; #53 and #94 Billboard year-end chart 2006-07), “Rock Star” (#2 UK & IL; #36 Billboard year-end chart), “If Everyone Cared” (#7 CA; #50 Billboard year-end chart)

2008: Dark Horse

• 6x Platinum
• Juno for Album of the Year
• Hit Singles: “Gotta Be Somebody” (#4 CA; #27 CA year-end chart of 2009), “If Today Was Your Last Day” (#7 CA; #22 CA year-end chart of 2009), “I’d Come for You” (#20 NL), “Burn It to the Ground” (#7 FL), “Never Gonna Be Alone” (#25 CA), “This Afternoon” (#16 CA; #58 CA year-end chart of 2010)

2011: Here and Now

• 2x Platinum
• Hit Singles: “When We Stand Together” (#10 CA, 81st of 2012)

2014: No Fixed Address

Nickelback - No Fixed Address

• #2 Album (Billboard Canada Albums chart)
• Hit Singles: “Edge of a Revolution” (#34), “What Are You Waiting For?” (#29)

Other Related Singles

• “Hero” by Chad Kroeger and Josey Scott (#1 CA; #25 Billboard year-end chart)
• “Why Don’t You & I” by Chad Kroeger and Santana (#8 US)
• “Into the Night” by Chad Kroeger and Santana (#1 HU; #34 2008 year-end chart CA)

Legend: CA-Canada, US-United States, IL-Ireland, AL-Australia, AT-Austria, UK-United Kingdom, NZ-New Zealand, NL-Netherlands, FL-Finland, HU-Hungary

* Western countries with the highest chart position reported only.

With sales of over 35 million records, hard rockers Nickelback, has become one of the most successful bands from Canada. Though forming in the small Alberta town of Hanna (215 kilometres northeast of Calgary), they launched their recording career from Vancouver, and it took several years before they saw a breakthrough. The band’s lead singer, Chad Kroeger, worked at Starbucks and would often say, in giving customers their change, “Here’s your nickel back”. This is how the band got its name.

Beginnings

Chad was born in 1974 and taught himself how to play the guitar at age 13. He broke into his high school on several occasions to steal money and was eventually sent to a juvenile detention facility. He finished high school after being released and formed a cover band with his brothers and friends that played gigs in the early 90s. Eventually they broke up and reformed with new members settling on the name Nickelback in 1995. Kroeger was busy writing his own songs.

A year later, they relocated to Vancouver to see if they could record some of their material. In various studios around the metropolitan area, they recorded and self-released a seven-track EP called Hesher which has become a rare collectors’ item. The song “Try” was picked up by album-oriented rock station CFOX-FM, drawing professional interest and the band was able to release a full-length (self-released) album, Curb, later in the year.

A talent scout sent Ron Burman of Roadrunner Records a copy of the self-released album. Impressed with the recording, he travelled to Vancouver to see the band perform live. The venue was packed and Burman was taken with their song “Leader of Men”. It took him three months, however, to convince label executives to sign the band. The label normally signed less mainstream rock bands. Finally a deal with EMI in Canada and Roadrunner internationally was struck.

Their first non-independent album was The State, released in Y2K. Four singles released became minor hits but enough to drive up album sales to respectable levels. Nickelback toured with Creed and 3 Doors Down and won a Juno the following year for Best New Group.

Breakthrough

On the day that airplanes crashed into the so-called twin towers in New York, Nickelback’s album Silver Side Up was released.

The single “How You Remind Me” became the biggest song of the year in the U.S. and 4th biggest of the entire decade. It won the Juno for song of the year. The album was certified 8x Platinum in Canada with worldwide sales exceeding 10 million copies. The following year, Chad Kroeger was invited to perform a song for the film Spider-Man with Josey Scott of the American band Saliva. The song appeared on the year-end Billboard chart at #25. The same year (2002), the band received its first of four Juno awards for group of the year.

In 2003, The Long Road became Nickelback’s fourth album. “Someday” was the big hit, topping the charts at home and finishing as the 17th biggest song of the year in the United States. All the Right Reasons came next, two years later. Five of its singles made the top ten somewhere in the world. It was the band’s most successful album, slightly outselling Silver Side Up, with 11 million.

Chad Kroeger started his own record label, 604 Records, becoming executive producer. Ryan Videal left the band and was replaced with the drummer from 3 Doors Down, Daniel Adair. (Although 3 Doors Down is an American band, Adair is Canadian.) In 2007, Nickelback received a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame in Toronto.

Mutt Lange produced Nickelback’s next album, Dark Horse, released in 2008. The album won for the band their first Juno for album of the year. “Gotta Be Somebody” was the most successful single, peaking at #4. The band performed “Burn it to the Ground” during the closing ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. They went on tour that year.

Nickelback released a couple of singles in advance of their 2011 album Here and Now. “When We Stand Together” peaked at #10 on the weekly singles chart. The album became their 5th multi-platinum release.

Following Chad Kroeger’s assistance with Avril Lavigne’s self-titled 2013 album, the two married. Nickelback signed to record label Republic Records and released No Fixed Address in 2014 spawning two Top 40 hits.

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